We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Saving Money

I've been inspired by one of my relatives to try super coupon shopping. I remember reading about it a few years ago and being interested but very intimidated. Seeing that a real person whom I knew existed was experimenting with this form of shopping and being successful at it made me deeply intrigued and itching to get started on my own. You can read about her forays into the super coupon phenomenom on her blog Adventures of a Wannabe Cheapskate, which I'm following with a passion. I've recently found another helpful site The Coupon Queen which is clearing up so many of my questions. I'm systematically going through these two blogs' archives to read every single tip they've ever typed on there. I sound obsessed. I like to think of it as committed. What with the crafts and couponing, it looks like I'll have more to write about. That's always a good thing. Therapeutically speaking. For me, I mean. It might be slow torture for anyone reading. But isn't that what's so great about this form of expression? I can put thoughts on here and have the satisfaction of having expressed myself, without worrying too much. There are no deadlines. No editors. Basically, no stress. I'm so glad I started this. This project has given me goals and a sense of focus I've been needing.

Thoughts and Projects

So now I'm trying to do more things that I love. Things that make me feel at peace and give me a sense of accomplishment. I'd like to do more crafting and learn how to do a better job of saving money. Crafts help me unwind and refocus. I haven't crafted regularly for a long time. So here goes. Being newly out of a job, I'm having a hard time feeling like I contribute to the family as a whole. Sure, I take care of my son and try to take care of the house. I switch off cooking with my MIL, which helps considerably in the sanity department, but sadly, I've come to believe if I'm not financially contributing to my family, I'm not really making a difference. It's a mindset I constantly struggle with, so I want to make a conscious effort to be happy and allow myself to appreciate the beauty in life and to be inspired to make my little corner of life a happy, beautiful one. Will this fulfill me? Who knows. I'm willing to take this journey. It may be a slow one, but I hope to make it sincere.

I often feel stuck in the repetitive routine of a stay at home mom. I've only recently remembered that crafting helps to calm my restlessness. I've always wanted to decorate but thought it would cost too much to decorate for every occasion. Well, I decided to have a Valentine dinner for my little family so we could reinvent the day of love into a family love appreciation. And really, it would give me something to do. So here are my homemade Valentines Day decorations.
Not ecstatic about this wreath, but hey, creating it kept me happy for several evenings. It's all foam that I cut and decorated one way or another. Except for the huge foam wreath, that is. It was already in it's donut-like shape. The wonders of tissue paper and glue, huh?

Goodie bags doubling as placecards. I've edited the names :)

Heart garland and dangling heart pendants cut from patterned papers in various shades of pink.

Tissue paper pompoms made from this Martha Stewart tutorial.

What I love most about these projects is the joy and everyday purpose they've given me and the fact that I saved money by making them myself. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Little things

So yesterday I complimented a fellow shopper in the supermarket and felt like a complete idiot while doing it. I turned into the canned food aisle and there was a woman who was obviously having a rough day. So I took a deep breath and got it over with: That haircut looks so great on you. Which it did. Totally true. And it was like I had given her money, her reaction was surprise and then a very pleased smile as she thanked me and walked away a little happier than before. The idiotic feeling faded and I went back to my shopping feeling just great. It's nice to find out that such a small thing can still make a difference, to both the giver and recipient.
Today I want to start a habit of drinking more herbal tea and water throughout my day. Buh-bye soda and wine.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Inspiration loves company

Here are links to some fellow bloggers who are trying to appreciate every day things and better themselves in their own way. It's good to know I'm not alone!

Looking for Something...
Three Beautiful Things
Thankful Blog
All I Need Is A Moment

I hope to find more people who are on this track.

What is Beauty and Inspiration?

These things are so convoluted in my mind. I will purposefully choose to do things to better myself. It starts now. Well, it started yesterday. Not being one who learned how to keep a house, I struggle with housework and end up resenting the mess around me. Yesterday I decided to put away one thing every time I entered a room. By the end of the day, my pile of daily chores didn't seem so dismal and you could actually see the kitchen sink and my dining table! Maybe there's something to this whole choosing your path thing. I used to blame my past for my shortcomings. This is who I am. Deal with it. But then I read somewhere that if you believe your past made you who you are, right now you're shaping who you'll be in the future. It got me thinking about what I thought I couldn't change about me. I'm going to start shaping myself into the person I want to be. I'd like to be smarter, kinder, more resourceful and stronger. I have no idea where to start, so I hope that writing about it will help. Today I will compliment a total stranger. This is hard for me since I don't make friends easily and am usually a very cynical, private person. Not just shmoozing. I will give someone a genuine compliment without sarcasm. I'm terrified just thinking about it. I want to eventually choose huge things that will enrich my life. For now, I'll start small.

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